Ok, Ok, Y’all. Did I slip a couple of crushed up valium into one of Smoky’s nightcaps, pack a go bag and haul her unconscious body onto my cousin Antoine’s private plane then abscond to Vermont with her? Yes. Yes, I absolutely did. BUT I did it for a good reason. See, Smokes always says that she’s neutral about the holidays. That she wants to be left alone to watch classic episodes of Drag Race until New Years Eve but it just seems so wrong. How could anyone be “neutral” about this joyous time of togetherness and light? It’s unfathomable to me.
Every year Antoine invites me up to the big LeRoux to do just outside of Woodstock, Vermont and every year I pass because I don’t want to leave Smokes on her own. So, I do my best to make the house festive. Bake cookies, fire up the yule log and trim our Christmas tree in magical twinkling lights but every year Smoky remains unmoved and hisses at me like an angry possum when I suggest that we go out caroling to share my love of “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC with the neighborhood. Something had to be done or else she was heading for an Ebenezer Scrooge type situation and I’m not trying to spend my afterlife clanking chains at her. I plan to haunt Anna Chlumsky from “My Girl”. I don’t want to get into the details but it will be horrifying and she knows what she did to deserve it.
In every Christmas story there’s some jaded business person/heartbroken widower/city girl who had forgotten her small town roots that just needs that one magical holiday experience to change their life. That’s the plan for Smoky and what better place to do it than a picturesque little village surrounded by the best people I know?
She took it pretty well, all things considered. She even begrudgingly agreed to help us string popcorn garland for the tree. Until we had to giver her the boot for eating all the popcorn. Usually Smoky only eats a handful of cocktail olives a day so that was pretty surprising. I wonder if her appetite is coming back as she sobers up? We’re making progress already! I did find her chugging a bottle of Listerine in the butler’s pantry last night in an effort to get some alcohol into her system so I’m not sure how long that will last. Her breath is amazing though.
Here’s my primary concern. After my great aunt Fabienne cajoled Smoky into going with us to cut down the Christmas tree with our antique handsaws it became very clear that the heels and furs that Smoky so loves are just not made for the snowy Vermont weather. She slipped and fell almost immediately and was shivering so hard we had to rush her back in and wrap her in blankets next to the fire. Speaking of fire, I’m not sure how safe her hair is when it’s that close to an open flame. The point is that we’re going to have to take Smokes shopping for some more practical gear if she is to survive this December. I’m talking heavy woolen sweaters, thermals, even flat heeled muck boots. I’m not sure how she’ll take to all of those natural fabrics. Maybe being comfortable for the first time in at least two decades will be good for her. Or maybe it’s just too much too fast. Have I made a terrible mistake? Will her brain be forever broken by the warm embrace of an L.L. Bean store in December? Only time will tell.